Zambia Reports (Lusaka)

11 February 2013

Zambia: PF Reverses Position On Mobile Hospitals

After vilifying the purchase and use of mobile hospitals by the MMD regime to take medical services to the people in far flung areas, the Patrotic Front (PF) government has now whole heartedly embraced the concept with deputy minister of health Christopher Mulenga saying the government will not do away with mobile hospitals.

Mr Mulenga said mobile hospitals were a good and ideal in areas that are hard to reach especially during rainy season.

Mulenga said from Mongu, Western province where he was on a conducted tour of health facilities that the concept of the mobile hospitals was a brilliant idea, which should not have been politicised.

He said the PF government had realized that it was not easy to deliver health services, but the use of mobile hospitals would ease matters.

"This is why we are most unlikely to attain the Millenium Development Goal on health delivery because delivery of health services has not been adequately managed," he said.

During their time in the opposition, the PF criticized to purchase and use of mobile hospitals in Zambia saying it was an expensive venture that was draining tax payer's money.

But the deputy minister Mulenga has said the mobile hospitals were conducive for the work they were planned to do.

"It is better to maintain mobile hospitals and also build permanent structures because some parts of Zambia are not accessible but they need health services which the mobile hospitals are able to do," he said.

"The Patriotic Front governments' desire is to reduce the distance between a patient and health facility to about 5 Kilometres across the country," he said.

The PF government had promised to ban the use of mobile hospitals when they formed goverbment, but hitherto, they hav continued to make use of the facilities although they have not substantially made a clear policy statement on the use of mobile hospitals since attaining power.

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